As the number of spacefaring species in the ever-growing known space grew, the UDSA grew out of a need to have better cooperation between species.
It is a loose alliance of several hundred species focusing on regulating space exploration, while preserving the sovereignty of the members.
The UDSA's main decision-making body is a council involving each member species called the General Assembly. Any major decisions including acceptance of new members must be passed by this council. More everyday administrative matters are handled by various committees. Of special note is the Exploration and Defense Fleet, which technically has the standing of a committee in that it stands under the General Assembly but has autonomy in most everyday matters.
As the name implies, the UDSA is more concerned with external matters and does not interfere much with internal affairs of its member states. Its primary goal is to unify the exploration and research efforts in regions of space not known to be inhabited, by sharing of data and technology between member species and the Exploration and Defense Fleet. The UDSA is also tasked with assisting in defense from aggressive non-members and natural threats via the EDF, as well as mediating disputes between members.
The UDSA currently has 113 member species. The most notable members, including founding members, are listed in the List of UDSA Members
Each species has their own words for the UDSA and various related institutions. A sample of translations of the name is shown below.
|Vjin||xìrgìnzia gángj́iárna v́v̂íar
|Yyrhxen||xakterhy chr xashyrhe